Turtles (Red-ear sliders) and possible transmitable diseases

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by silkiechicken, May 20, 2008.

  1. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    So for the turtle experts out there, do turtles, specifically aquatic turtles, have transmittable diseases which they can pass to their turtle friends?

    Google has so far only shown me stuff on shell rot and bad aquarium conditions which lead to such problems. Came across injuries and what not, but if the turtles look healthy... are they? Or like chickens, do they have hidden diseases which can emerge when stressed? I assume they do... but so far am out of luck on finding good information on them that is by experienced owners or people who know how to capitalize sentences.

    Thanks!
     
  2. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    Turtles carry salmonella just as a part of life. Even healthy ones can transmit it.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    AFAIK, yes, healthy-lookin' turtles can indeed be carriers of Salmonella (so can chickens) and cause of salmonellosis in humans.

    from a quick google:

    http://www.kflapublichealth.ca/Files/Resources/037_salmonella_in_pet_turtles.pdf
    http://www.cdc.gov/Features/TurtlesSalmonella/
    http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/vet00/vet00054.htm

    Of course, the cdc's position is that children should not go anywhere near reptiles or amphibians of any sort... or poultry... or pretty much anything else in life... [​IMG] You can draw your own conclusions about what's sensible risk-avoidance, but there does not seem to be any dispute whatsoever that even well-kept turtles (even terrestrial ones like box turtles and tortoises) *are* a significant possible source of salmonella contamination.

    So, like, wash your hands, don't chew on a turtle, and don't dump the turtle water in the kitchen sink where it can splash on the clean dishes [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    That's the thing I am having trouble with. I'm not worried about salmonella and it getting transmitted to humans, just transmittable diseases and such between the turtles themselves. For example, chickens can give each other Mericks disease and we are fine. I'm looking for diseases that turtles can have that can give to other turtles. I haven't been able to find much about turtles and diseases other than how humans can get them from turtles...not really what I am trying to find. I'm sure there is something... but can't even find a lead yet... since most sound like they are condition/housing related rather than "disease" per se.
     
  5. love-my-wolves

    love-my-wolves Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2008
    Front Royal, VA
    Hmmm, I have 3 turtles, 2 red-ears, and 1 box, and I have had to get replacements in the beginning (5 to be exact). They never passed any diseases on, (1 was sick and taken to the vet) so I have no idea. I tend to think that if one is "sick" it will die, and as long as the others don't eat the sick one, they should be fine. But, I'm by far not an expert, even the vet I work for never mentioned passing diseases from one turtle to another. Sorry I'm not more help. Steph
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Oops, sorry, I guess I should read *all* the words in a post, huh? [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Parasites come to mind. I know turtles can have roundworms.

    And I seem to recall that there are some herpesviruses that are problems in marine turtles, I have no clue whatsoever whether they are in freshwater turtles.

    I think you will have better luck with google if you try using "chelonians" rather than "turtles". A very very quick check turned up
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11228895

    Have you also tried, er, mind going blank, the genus name of your sliders (i.e. search on <whatever-o-mys> diseases, or something like that).

    sorry,

    Pat
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Ah, great leads! Thanks! No need to be sorry for anything Pat!

    Sounds like most are pretty "uncommon" but don't need my disease to be a common one :p.

    Sounds like turtles and herpes will be the winner this time around, but I'll expand the section to be aqauatic rather than just RES. Maybe I'll just add in a short section on how living conditions cause 99% of problems if I run out of things to talk about.
     
  8. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles &amp; Silkies

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    If you have a local zoo, call and ask to speak to the folks in the reptile department. They can give you things to watch out for, since they have many reptiles in close quarters.

    When I found a disturbed turtle nest, they told me how to hatch them (which is easier than chickens!). They took the extras I couldn't keep. And they told me different tricks for caring for them (like bugs & fish, not just meat scraps. and using a reptile light to keep the shells hard. stuff you can google now, but this was 20 years ago [​IMG] )
     
  9. Sparrow

    Sparrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is always recomended to quarantine any new turtle before introducing it to your turtle group. Not only can the transfer paraites, internal/external, but also some pretty bad bacteria. I generally quarantine new rescues for about a month before putting them with my other turtles.

    Reptiles are darn good at hiding diseases. Sometimes an apparrently healthy animal can take out your whole group accidentally.
     

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